space·​craft | \ ˈspās-ˌkraft How to pronounce spacecraft (audio) \

Definition of spacecraft

: a vehicle or device designed for travel or operation outside the earth's atmosphere

Examples of spacecraft in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Soviet Union responded in kind by launching its Venera spacecraft to the planet. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "We've Found Possible Signs of Life in Venus's Clouds. Whoa.," 14 Sep. 2020 But the main obstacle is propulsion: Our spacecraft are simply too slow and too reliant on fuel to realistically make a voyage to Alpha Centauri, the closest star to our Sun. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, "From Frost to 80 Degrees in 4 Days - Unprecedented Wildfires Rage Across Western USA," 10 Sep. 2020 If, however, satellite operators choose orbits above 600 kilometers, the situation gets worse because then their spacecraft are visible for more of the night, and in summer, all night long. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Report suggests ways to avoid satellites ruining telescope images but ‘there is no place to hide’," 25 Aug. 2020 Northrup Grumman is contributing designs from its Cygnus spacecraft for parts of the lander that will propel it from orbit to the moon and Draper is designing guidance and avionics systems. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Here’s what NASA’s next moon lander may look like," 21 Aug. 2020 And soon trouble arises aboard their spacecraft, too, with an unexpected fire. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Mission to Mars: Hilary Swank leads an elite team in trailer for Away," 11 Aug. 2020 SpaceX just flew a full-size prototype of its Starship Mars-colonizing spacecraft for the first time ever. Mike Wall, Scientific American, "SpaceX's Starship SN5 Prototype Soars in First Test Flight," 5 Aug. 2020 Next year, the space agency is planning to fly its Orion spacecraft on a trip around the moon without astronauts, as well as two robotic missions to deliver science experiments to the lunar surface. Washington Post, "NASA is on an epic roll. But can it keep the momentum going?," 3 Aug. 2020 Later this afternoon, Behnken and Hurley are expected to climb aboard their Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Dragon Endeavour, which has been docked at the space station since the astronauts arrived in May. Jackie Wattles, CNN, "NASA-SpaceX mission: Astronauts prepare to board Crew Dragon from the ISS," 1 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spacecraft.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spacecraft

1929, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for spacecraft

Time Traveler

The first known use of spacecraft was in 1929

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Statistics for spacecraft

Last Updated

22 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spacecraft.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for spacecraft


How to pronounce spacecraft (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of spacecraft

: a vehicle that is used for travel in outer space


space·​craft | \ ˈspās-ˌkraft How to pronounce spacecraft (audio) \
plural spacecraft

Kids Definition of spacecraft

: a vehicle for travel beyond the earth's atmosphere

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More from Merriam-Webster on spacecraft

Nglish: Translation of spacecraft for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spacecraft for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about spacecraft

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